Album Review: Yours Truly – ‘Self Care’

Posted: by The Editor

Pop-punk is not in vogue. Yours Truly does not care. Self Care, the debut LP by the Sydney, Australia foursome pushes forward, full steam ahead. The band’s 2019 Afterglow EP displayed a youthful energy wrapped up in the trappings of the pop-punk boom earlier in the decade, clearly indebted to bands like Fireworks, State Champs, and Transit. Self Care finds the band improving in every regard, carving out a take on the sound that feels distinctly their own.

This is best exemplified in the three-song stretch that comprises the middle section of the record. “Vivid Dream” and “Ghost” are wonderful refinements of the sound Yours Truly settled into on Afterglow – either song would be the best song on that EP. Between those two is “Undersize,” the song that finds the band most outside their comfort zone. It’s a jangly ballad that falls in the middle of the venn diagram between pop rock radio smash and a lilting lullaby. It verges on saccharine, but Mikaila Delgado’s powerful vocal performance carries the song to greater heights. 

Delgado’s voice is one of the band’s best qualities, and “Heartsleeve” is her shining moment: the song gives her a chance to show off her range, and she absolutely soars in the song’s hook. It makes for a memorable closer, particularly following the lackluster “Half of Me,” the album’s acoustic cut. Delgado sounds excellent as ever, but the song adds little to Self Care, particularly when “Undersize” is a far more unique – and effective – change of pace for the record. 

The rest of Self Care feels far much more true to Yours Truly. Less beholden to their influences or the constraints of the genre, songs like “Glass Houses” and “Composure” are able to tinker enough around the edges of pop-punk to still feel fresh. In 2020, surrounded by throwback easycore and standard power chords, Yours Truly demonstrates how much room the genre still has for reinvention.

Disappointing / Average / Good / Great/ Phenomenal

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

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